This is the time of the year that the volunteers start building
up the supplies of toys for the kids whose parents don't have
or have very little resources for toys for the kids.
In our town, it is the Lions Club that takes on this huge
responsibility. And huge it is.. and in this day and age it is
more so. Especially the last 4 years. It isn't just the toys,
it is also food for Christmas dinner. When I was working,
the company that I worked for .. use to give us turkeys
for Christmas. Luckily about a week or so before.. As I
use to donate mine to the Lions club. One year it was
just as the Lions club was passing out the supplies.
As I walked up there, there was a very long line.
I had my grandson with me.. and he was about 10.
I went to the garage part of the building the Lions club
has, told the gentlemen of which I was giving.. and was
greeted with joy as they were getting close to running out.
As we walked back to the car, my grandson asked why
were all those people there and standing in line to get inside.
When I told him, that all those adults had small children..
and because jobs had laid off a lot of people that year..
That they were there, because the Lions Club and all those
who help them, give out free food and toys for their kids.
All those people, he asked? I said yes, and he said WOW.
I didn't know.
TOYS FOR TOTS, started out in the late 1940's
by a Marine, who got his reserve unit to collect
toys for kids.. they did, ....over 5000 toys.. first
one was a home made doll... and that was the
start. For many years, movie stars and even Walt
Disney, got involved. Walt is who came up with the
poster with the train on it.. and for many years
the Marines did this.. with help from local citizens.
The toys were always collected locally, for local
kids. Some where down the road.. where Marines
Reserves were not available.. the Lions Club picked
up the banner. And there could be others.. but it is
the Lions Club in our town..
So if you see a benefit that helps the Toys for Tots, like
the turkey bingo, as the local mall has about this time
of the year, or just want to write a check, donate some
new toys... please feel free to help out.. Do it for the kids.
No matter what you might think about why the parents
are there.. it is the kids who will benefit from this. Also
if you have some time and want to help out.. you don't
have to become a Lions Club member, they are always
glad to have people help out with the receiving of the
cases of food that is donated by stores, or that they
buy with the money donated. And the toys as they
come in, and need to be placed by ages on the shelves
they have there.
You will usually see a donation thermometer on the front
page of any given newspaper, and they will have where
you can send it.. Ours also has a bank or some other place
that accepts donation checks in behalf of the Lions Club. Or
even the Marine Reserves, who started this years ago. You can
donate in the name of your love ones.. It is one of the few
charities that I do donate to.. Remember the donations
are local and kept local.
And if you are a Mom or Dad and having a tough year,
contact your local TOYS FOR TOTS...organization,
and get your kids ages on the list with your name. If
you know a family.. who is having a rough time, you
can tell the organization their name.
REMEMBER, IT IS FOR THE KIDS... help out the
local chapter of TOYS for TOTS.